Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE 4WD
Week ending June 19
Driven this week 134
The Santa Fe has officially left the What Car? car park. There are several things about it that I am really going to miss - it was fantastically practical and I was very fond of its looks, for starters.
I'm not the only one who will miss it either - it was also regularly pressed into service when it came to transporting What Car? staffers with family or load-lugging needs.
It wasn't all totally plain sailing though, so keep an eye open for my final report on life with the Santa Fe in the coming weeks.
By Will Williams
Week ending June 12
Driven this week 200
Unfortunately the Santa Fe has been in the wars recently, and just before it returns to Hyundai, too!
I was on my way to a photoshoot in Brighton via the M23 and someone's exhaust had just fallen off and was still sitting in the outside lane. I'd seen it and thought I'd lined up to avoid hitting it, but it must still have been moving because the Santa Fe's nearside wheels crashed over it at 70mph, creating a massive plume of exhaust/silencer wadding – the resulting cloud made it look like I'd run over a large mob of emus.
A loud bang also echoed around the cabin and the tyres seemed to vibrate a little and create a bit more rumble than usual, but they appeared okay when I inspected them later. There were no bulges or cracked wheels, either. The tyre pressures have remained fine, but I'll need to get the tracking checked because the steering wheel needs to be held slightly off centre to travel in a straight line.
By Will Willams
Week ending June 5
Driven this week 226
This week I borrowed the Santa Fe for a quick six-up dash down the A3 from Esher to Southsea.
We loaded two Pearsons in the rearmost seats, two in the middle and two in the front, and all approved of the interior: its comfort, its adjustable leather seats, and most of all its space – acres of it.
Legging it for the coast, we covered our 52 miles in a respectable 45 minutes. Only the ease with which this car emptied its fuel tank caused us some dismay – I found it difficult to get the instant display on the dash to even reach the 25mpg mark, let alone hover above it!
However, the driver has a good view, and a reasonable driving position. It put me in mind of a sort of cut-price XC90 – the engine is a little gruff low down, but fine at a cruise, and the driving experience is pleasant, if slightly detached.
Only the high rear window line, kicking up fashionably about its flanks, caused us a problem, making the rearmost seats feel, despite actually offering more than enough leg and headroom, slightly claustrophobic.
Access to those seats was also a problem: flipping forward the single passenger-side seat was easy enough, and the whole assembly slides forwards to ease entry, but the gap left was still too tight even for a child – an adult would really struggle.
To overcome this, and because they got bored with waiting for the middle-row passengers to get out before they could, my daughters took to climbing out of the rear tailgate, which turned out to be easier and quicker for them anyway.
By Mark Pearson